Faber Garden in fresh bid to go en bloc at same price

The 236-unit freehold Faber Garden condominium in Angklong Lane is near the Central Nature Reserve amid good class bungalows, landed housing and private condominiums, as well as the upcoming Bright Hill MRT station.
The 236-unit freehold Faber Garden condominium in Angklong Lane is near the Central Nature Reserve amid good class bungalows, landed housing and private condominiums, as well as the upcoming Bright Hill MRT station.ST FILE PHOTO

$1.18b reserve price stays even though earlier tender closed without a sale six months ago

Faber Garden is relaunching a collective sale exercise today at the same reserve price of $1.18 billion at which its first attempt closed without a sale six months ago.

The public tender will close at 3pm on Oct 31.

The collective sale committee's (CSC) minutes last month noted that members "reached a unanimous consensus" to relaunch the tender, "in view that there is no competing land supply around the same vicinity as Faber Garden".

The 236-unit freehold condominium in Angklong Lane is near the Central Nature Reserve amid good class bungalows, landed housing and private condominiums, as well as the Bright Hill MRT station that is expected to open in 2021.

With a site area of 544,738 sq ft, the 34-year-old condo has a plot ratio of 1.6 and a height control of 12 storeys.

"Faber Garden was valued at $1.16 billion. The CSC didn't get back to us to lower the reserve price as the difference between the two prices is too small. Besides, there is a risk of not getting the 80 per cent in time," a Faber Garden resident, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times.

With an 80 per cent mandate and at the same reserve price, the CSC can relaunch for tender before the collective sale agreement expires on March 21 next year.

The 233 owners stand to get a gross payout of between $4.38 million and $6.75 million, and the three commercial shop units could get between $1.99 million and $4.83 million.

Marketing agent Galven Tan, CBRE's executive director of capital markets, said: "Faber Garden is the largest freehold site in Upper Thomson. While developers have become more selective with land acquisitions after the latest round of cooling measures, centrally located sites such as this site are rare.

"The recent strong performance of JadeScape, where 300 units were sold on the weekend launch, is further testament to the demand and popularity of the Thomson area."

The CSC was unable to conclude the sale at its reserve price six months ago.

Some observers say the site's appeal may be hampered further by increases in the additional buyer's stamp duty following the latest cooling measures, as well as conditions imposed on Faber Garden's redevelopment to ensure it will not cause a strain on existing infrastructure.

In particular, a traffic impact assessment (TIA) was conducted and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has "confirmed that the proposed increase of plot ratio 1.6 to 2.1 cannot be supported", according to a May 23 letter from CBRE to Faber Garden owners.

The LTA will support only 900 units for the redeveloped site. CBRE earlier said the site could yield 1,156 units, based on the 70 sq m guideline.

"That means developers cannot build as many small units, which will affect their total gross development value. In turn, they may tender lower prices for the land," said a property research director who declined to be named.

The LTA said it is unable to share details specific to Faber Garden.

"A TIA would typically be done when the redevelopment plan involves building more than 700 units on the site and/or if there are opportunities for alternative ingress and egress into the site," said Colliers International managing director Tang Wei Leng.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2018, with the headline 'Faber Garden in fresh bid to go en bloc at same price'. Print Edition | Subscribe